Dr. Marco Tavanti, University of San Francisco, School of Management Dr. Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, Fmr. Director World Bank and President, Zambuling Institute Ms. Elizabeth A. Wilp, Vice-President, SCI-Institute / SDG. services
Integrating Sustainability into Management Education: Lessons from International, Jesuit, and Buddhist Principles and Practices.
Sustainability and sustainable development are rapidly growing subjects in business policies, practices, and responsibilities and, thus, it is essential to adequately mainstream them in business and academia. Despite the importance of sustainability, it integration in MBAs, MPAs, MNAs and other professional management degrees has been slow, fragmented and sporadic. This study offers an overview of the most important advancements in business and management education related to sustainability and social responsibility. These include, for example, the UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and the Higher Education for Sustainability Initiative (HESI) connected to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The review of the current efforts will focus on new alternative models for integrating value-education in the Jesuit tradition, Buddhist traditions, and other value systems which anchor their practices into human-society-nature harmony, for a better future for all. Definitions on sustainable development will be evaluated, compared and contrasted from Brundtland's needs-based approach to Elkington’s Triple Bottom Line and to Sfeir-Younis’ Multiple Capitals approaches. These will be examined in relation to the need for promoting sustainability system-thinking mindsets and interdisciplinary skill sets, to advance the education for globally responsible managers and conscious sustainable development leaders. Business education in academic programs, which are now offered by most educational institutions, faces the challenge of effectively integrating sustainability values into its curricula beyond some electives and beyond a “green-washing” of educational business as usual. If academia is going to significantly contribute to sustainable leadership education, it would need to go much deeper into many of the core arguments of Jesuit understandings, and other value propositions, that attempt to explore our vocation of human beings, in harmony with other sentient beings, and in a conscious relation with our common good responsibilities. The end purpose of this study is to bring about current efforts for sustainability management-leadership education and challenge our educational institutions, with the view to embrace a renewed approach based on integration models, interdisciplinary mindsets/skill-sets, and a renewed sense of wonder, devotion and discovery centered around deeper and more spiritually centered leadership consciousness.